CAUGHT Seismology

The central Andean plateau is one of the most imposing topographic features on Earth’s surface and influences climate on regional and global scales. Despite its significance, the geodynamic processes responsible for plateau formation and evolution remain poorly understood. Current end-member geodynamic models for Andean plateau formation predict one of the following modes of plateau evolution: (1) slow-and-steady rise of the plateau commensurate with crustal shortening, or (2) rapid rise of the plateau associated with removal of dense lower lithosphere following significant crustal shortening. The controversy between these two models persists, in part, because of lack of overlap in space and time between fundamental data sets that are used to interpret temporal changes in climate, elevation, lithospheric thickness and composition, and magnitude of deformation. CAUGHT is a multidisciplinary effort to test these end-member geodynamic models for the surface uplift, deformation history, and lithospheric evolution of the central Andes of Bolivia and southern Peru.

CAUGHT Seismology is one component of the interdisciplinary project and consists of a 50 station broadband seismic deployment in Bolivia and southern Peru for two years. We will use the seismic data to image the crust and upper mantle of the northern Altiplano to determine the present lithospheric-scale structure to provide constraints on the formation of the Andes.

Main CAUGHT website maintained by Dr. Carmala Garzione